We Must Do Better.
We can do better. No, we must do better.
I do not pretend to understand the plight of our black brothers and sisters who are subjected to unthinkable treatment on a regular basis. I’ve never experienced the looks of distrust when I just want to go shopping. I’ve never experienced a parent pulling their child away for “protection” just because I am walking by. And I have never experienced the fear that so many of our black friends are subjected to when they face a traffic stop.
I have great admiration for police officers and the work that they do. The vast majority are good men and women who just want to serve their communities. Events like the one in Minneapolis give them a black eye that is undeserved.
But, while I firmly believe in “innocent until proven guilty”, the death of George Floyd screams at us that something must be done. I have watched the videos, and absent of some unknown evidence, this incident was nothing short of a murder. Regardless of whether Floyd should have been arrested, which is still in question, the force used to detain him far exceeded the supposed crime.
We must do better.
On the other hand, the response of the protesters in Minneapolis has been out of hand. I support the protest, but how can rioting, looting, and murdering store owners do anything to further the cause? Still, I understand their frustrations and anger. Well, actually I guess I don’t. I’m angry and heartbroken over what has happened, but I’m not black. I don’t have to live it. The rioting is an unacceptable response, but I do try and understand why it’s the result.
We must do better.
George Floyd was a man created in the image of God just as any other human being is. I do not pretend to know Floyd’s moral character, but it doesn’t matter. God loved him. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, George Floyd was on his heart just as you and I were. When Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God and love people, George Floyd was included in that. So was Derek Chauvin, the policeman who killed Floyd, as hard as it is to swallow with the anger so many feel right now.
For too long, the church has been quiet on the issue of social justice and race relations. If we don’t live in an area that experiences this turmoil then it’s out of sight and out of mind. But Church, it is our duty to be heard on these issues that plague our society.
We must do better.
I am heartbroken over this incident, but being heartbroken isn’t enough. I pray for the situation and I believe that God is big enough to intervene, but a prayer said in the comfort of my home isn’t enough.
I must do better.
But I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. I am just one man with little influence in the public sphere. But the Church… the Church has power. One voice is lost, but the millions of voices in the Church creates influence. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to make a difference.
Micah 6:8 reminds us “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Trillia Newbell said, “Christianity and racism cannot coexist.” She is right. We cannot love, if we have hate in our hearts. Church, I can’t make a difference… but we can. To our black brothers and sisters, we stand with you. We support you. We love you. We want to help. So we will raise our voices. We cannot stay quiet any longer. Something must be done, and it starts with changing our own minds and realizing our silence is part of the problem.
We must do better. The Good News of Jesus Christ requires that we do better.
- Pastor Greg Rains